SEOUL: Amid the backdrop of the global shipping downturn, South Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries has decided to hold off on raising fees for using the country’s trading ports and plans to reduce port fees by 70 percent over the next three years.
Accordingly, all 31 ports in South Korea, including Busan and Incheon, will maintain the current fee levels for ships entering and departing the ports as well as for cargo handling. This will be the case throughout 2016 and future service price reductions will be done gradually to maintain fiscal stability.
A statement from the MOF said that based on the views of port users, the state of the domestic and world economy, the prolonged recession in shipping markets and consultations with the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, the ministry’s port facility charge adjustment advisory committee decided on maintaining the current port service rates.
The ministry in September took over the management rights of the island ports of Ulleung and Heuksan from their local governments and the same month established a fee collection system for these and seven other coastal ports under its management. The nine coastal ports are located in Pohang, Yeonpyeongdo Island, Sangwangdeung Island, Gageohyangri, Gukdo, and Hupo. Fees for these smaller ports will also be subject to the same national standards this year; the current fees for these ports are as per existing regulations.